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Air Purifying House Plants

Do you know what types of toxins could be hiding in your house or apartment?  Paint, carpet, cleaning products, and even furniture can be breeding grounds for all kinds of toxic chemicals that you definitely do NOT want to be exposed to. The good news is, there’s a simple, natural, effective, and visually pleasing solution to help detoxify the air in your living spaces.

How do plants accomplish this, you ask? In simplest terms, plants can’t help but suck up chemicals as they take in carbon dioxide—which then becomes oxygen during photosynthesis. (Pretty cool, huh?) In fact, NASA’s Clean Air Study recommends two or three medium to large plants for every 100 square feet of living space to get the maximum air-purifying benefits. 

Read on for the top eight air-purifying plants for your home.  


This easy-growing vine is effective at reducing toxic airborne particles, as well as reducing mold levels in your home, making it the perfect air purifying plant for your bathroom.  Different varieties will prefer different light situations, from bright, indirect light to low-light spaces. It’ll look especially lovely growing from a hanging basket or placed around your windowsill.


Gerbera daisies not only inject a cheerful burst of red, orange, yellow, or pink into your home, they also produce high levels of oxygen at night while removing harmful chemicals from the air (like benzene and trichloroethylene.)  Place one on your nightstand and reap the benefits while getting your beauty sleep.


You’ve heard us talk about the versatile Pothos plant before.  It’s basically a must-have for your indoor living space.  Also known as Devil’s Ivy, this creeping plant is essentially indestructible.  It flourishes in a variety of conditions and can grow up to eight feet long!  It’s also considered one of the most effective indoor air purifiers for removing common toxins.


A healing aloe plant is a lovely addition to your kitchen windowsill, as it loves a sunny spot. While being on hand to soothe any kitchen burns, this succulent will be purifying the air of formaldehyde and benzene, found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents.  Who doesn’t love a multi-tasking plant!


The resilient spider plant is the perfect choice for houseplant newbies.  This small but mighty plant will battle toxins, including carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the printing and rubber industries. If you have pets, this is one of the few houseplants that are non-toxic to animals.


Perfect for low light conditions, the breezy, tropical Bamboo Palm makes a great focal point in any living area. Its graceful, arching leaves make ideal all-around air cleaners, specifically famed for removing formaldehyde from the air.  Due to their size, they are great for making room dividers (tiny NYC apartments, we’re looking at you.)    


Also known as the Weeping Fig, this low-maintenance evergreen doubles as chic decor and a protective agent against benzene, trichloroethylene, and toluene (which are found in paint thinner and some nail polish.)  



We had to include this plant due to its fun name alone.  Also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant for the holes in its huge, glossy leaves, this tropical beauty was found to be one of the most effective greens at reducing overall air pollution.    


Robin Shack is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Amazon.com, Lagunasalt.com and sainteden.com